Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson and TAFE New England Director of Business and Strategy Mark Dalitz have today announced a proposal for a new apprenticeship for the transport and logistics industry which is expected to change the way the industry trains new and existing truck drivers.


The proposed qualification known as Certificate 3 in General Heavy Vehicle Operations focusses on the broader skillset needed for truck drivers beyond of licencing requirements.


Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said the new qualification is expected to increase participation in the industry and formalise skills for those already working in the industry.


“We’ve got a lot of experienced truckies on the road who have managed to build up the skills they need to do the job over the years but should those truckies wish to change employers there’s currently no formal way of showing they have those skills.


“We also want to attract young people into the transport sector as a career, due to the aging workforce within the industry. To do this we need to ensure they gain the necessary skills to enter the industry and become effective, long term employees.”


“We want to see a sustainable freight industry, and to do that we promote a positive and professional public image, support organisations to develop and recruit staff and offer further development for existing drivers.”


Mr Dalitz said “TAFE New England has responded to requests, from local transport companies, to work with the NSW Government to develop a qualification to meet the needs of the industry.


“TAFE New England has the facilities, the teaching staff and the knowledge to deliver a qualification of this nature right here in our region”.


Stephen Hopkins of Hopkins Transport said with the average age over truck drivers now over 50 years old there is a need to attract younger people to the industry.


“With an ageing workforce there is a big opportunity for young women and men to join the transport industry and we want to ensure they are getting the appropriate training to succeed with safety being a priority in this training.


“Without trucks the nation stops, so we need to build a workforce that will sustain the industry into the future,” Mr Hopkins concluded.

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